In my house Thanksgiving was a holiday for the entire family, pets included. Our dogs were always near the table knowing that each of us would sneak them little tidbits the whole dinner. As an adult this continued to be my practice in my own home, only expanded to include all of my various furry and feathered family members.

During the years that I had my cockatiels, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, they were a large part of any of my celebrations, adding their antics to the mix. Both Tink and Petey were fully trained (no birdie droppings were to be found outside their cage), and I allowed them to fly free in my house. It wasn't unusual, therefore, to have a little gray parrot or two landing on your head, perching nearby on the back of a chair or a lampshade, snuggling on your shoulder or even waddling across the table during a meal while you were at my house.

Cockatiels are very social and curious birds and they enjoy being part of their owner's life. Wherever I went you could pretty much count on them either going with me, riding on my shoulders, or flying in to join me within minutes. I was constantly picking up a bird and placing it out of my way while working or doing some household chore; I would put my finger out and the nosy bird would hop on to be transferred to a lamp, my shoulder or another more convenient perch.

One Thanksgiving in the mid eighties, when I was hosting the family dinner, this particular avian behavior got a little out of hand. Peter and Tink had followed me around all morning as I prepped all the various dishes and, after Tinkerbell landed on the turkey I was preparing to rinse, I decided enough was enough and locked them in their cage. This being a highly unusual occurrence and not to their liking, both birds immediately started to scold me as only a cockatiel can - loudly and piercingly. I shushed them, gave them some lettuce to quiet them down and they settled in for their temporary incarceration without much more protest.

After the meal was well underway and I was ready to dress myself up as nicely as I had dressed the turkey, I decided it was time to spring the two jail birds (pardon the bad pun), and let them out to join in the fun. The minute the door to the cage was opened they both took a short freedom flight around the house and then settled in to their favorite high perches to preen.

Animals know when something is up and both Pete and Tink, as well as my Cockapoo Shadow, had been on the alert all day. When my family started to arrive they were greeted by a flurry of flying feathers and wiggling fur - something my family and friends were quite used to - though I suspect some weren't particularly fond of the dive bombing parrots. But it was my house, and if any of my guests wanted to enjoy a cooked bird and some trimmings, they had to put up with a couple of very uncooked birds on the loose and looking for trouble! All part of my artistic charm, you know!

Once everyone was in and settled, things quieted down and the usual chatter and activities of a family gathering went back to normal. After the ritual of the holiday toast and a few appetizers we sat down to our Thanksgiving dinner and a table loaded with the standard fare. Seated around the table was my family decked out in their holiday suits and dresses, napkins rustling as they placed them in laps, glasses clinking and appetites ready. Of course my critters were in place as well; Shadow hovering under the table waiting for stray crumbs, both birds perched on the back of a dining chair, their little heads cocked and attentive.

The family said grace and we started to pass around the dishes when Tinkerbell decided it was time to explore all these interesting things and hopped down to the table. I picked her up and put her back on the chair, she hopped back to the table, undeterred. I let her peck at a couple of dishes then put her back on the chair. Nope, she was not finished, back she flew and once again I scooped her up and deposited her back on the chair.

Petey was not following suit, he was busy preening and fluffing, content to watch from the sidelines. But Tinkerbell was determined to check out everything on the table and, once again, took a short hop off the chair. Only this time she did not land on the table. She landed smack dab in the middle of the mashed potatoes and promptly sunk down until her feet disappeared!

There was one long. silent moment of shock as Tinkerbell found herself trapped in a quagmire of warm mashed potatoes, then, with a screech she listed up one foot out of the mire and started flinging specks of mashed potatoes off her talons in every direction. Then she lifted the other foot and flicked off some more dollops of goop. Every time she tried to step out she sunk back in and did it again. Everyone and everything within a few feet was getting hit by flying flecks of spuds, it was a barrage of Idaho missiles and everyone was ducking for cover!

After a few seconds of shock and uncontrollable laughter, I recovered enough to realize that Tinkerbell wasn't going to get out of the quicksand of taters by herself and I quietly came up from behind the frightened and frustrated little bird, grabbed her by enclosing her wings and plucked her from the offending potatoes.

Off we went to the bathroom where I rinsed off her little feet and soothed her down. When we came back to the dining room, Petey was still calmly preening, my family was wiping off flecks of flung food and Shadow was happily vacuuming up the drops that had landed on the floor. No harm, no fowl (again, pardon the pun); dinner was delicious, wine mellowed the nerves, and Tinkerbell was a model of good behavior the remainder of the day.

But I never got to host another Thanksgiving dinner in my family.



Late last night I published a post titled after the song "California, Here I Come", a story about how often I have moved in my life. Part of the story involved a time where my brother and I constantly sang this song in the car as our family headed out to California to live.

At the end of the post I embedded a video clip from YouTube with Al Jolson singing the song, which he made famous in the movie "Bombo". According to Wikipedia, this song is often considered the unoffical state song of California. To me the song is simply a reminder of a family trip and the lyrics have very strong emotional meaning, particularly now since I am finally moving home to the state I love, California.

I have removed the video and my reasons for doing so follow.

I received a very short and terse e-mail from someone regarding this video stating that they were highly offended at the video of a white man dressed in black face and considered it insulting to the African-American community. They then went on to state that they assumed I didn't know this was insulting because they couldn't believe I would intentionally post that video without regard to my readers.

This person was correct, I would NEVER intentionally post anything offensive to my readers or anyone else. Therefore, I HAVE REMOVED THE VIDEO. However, I feel it necessary to respond to this person's comment because it was an entire misreading of my post and my intentions when I posted the video at the bottom.

First, to assume I was unaware of this particular issue is tantamount to calling me uninformed and unintelligent. I am neither, nor am I insensitive to the issues of discrimination and the struggles of those discriminated against in any form. I only saw this video as a simple piece of film history that had the original version I remember of the song "California Here I Come." and I was possibly naive in believing that all my readers would view it in that context alone.

Second, if you read the post you will see it has to do with my life of constantly moving and it is a nostalgic memoir of my life's trials and tribulations of forever changing homes. Moving is said to be one of the most psychologically stressful events that can occur in a person's life. It's right up there with death of a loved one and serious illness on the stress scale. My post was a celebration of ending my gypsy life and finally getting to go home, the video a way of sharing the song "California, Here I Come" in retro style. Nothing more.

Al Jolson's version of "California Here I Come" was the version I heard as a child. I didn't think of it being offensive to anyone, just the first version of that song I ever heard. It was never my intention to insult any community, I was simply posting the original version of a song I heard in my childhood that became part of a fond memory of a family trip.

Let me repeat, posting the video was not meant to insult anyone, nor was it meant to demean anyone. I most definitely did not post it to offend. That movie clip is part of film history and since my blog is a retro pop culture blog and the post involved that particular song I chose to post it instead of more contemporary versions available. I believed that my readers would see the video as a retro musical moment that spoke to my post about moving home and enjoy the clip from that perspective and not as an insult to any person, race or culture.

I have removed the video because I never want to hurt or offend any of my blog visitors, but I do not apologize for posting the video in the first place because my intent was not to offend but to share the lyrics which have an emotional meaning for me, particularly at this point in my life. I do apologize to anyone that was inadvertently insulted and I am sorry if anyone who read the post took offense where none was intended.

Unfortunately, because of that e-mail I have lost a fond memory that is now tainted with an ugly accusation I believe I did not deserve.

Please read on because I think this is important to us all.

I believe it is time to stop using the big club of political correctness to bully others into doing what we want, to create guilt and to assign responsibility where it does not belong. Maybe posting that video was politically incorrect, but frankly, I am sick to death of "politically incorrect".

Political correctness is just that, political. Political correctness is not the best tool for social change. It does not mean you are changing people's attitudes, you are just stopping them from voicing those attitudes because they are not popular. This does not change the way people think and that is what we need to do, change the way people think.

Don't you believe it's time that we all moved away from the past and looked to the future? We cannot do that if we cannot let go of old offenses, especially ones created by people long gone and buried along with their damaging political and sociological views.

We cannot remove history, we cannot avoid it and we cannot pretend it didn't happen. What we can do is see the mistakes and wrong attitudes of the past for the uninformed, inhumane and incorrect views they were and, hopefully, learn from those mistakes to create a better world for us all.

I welcome all your views and sentiments on this post. I am willing and open to all comments that are informed, intelligent and thoughtful without anger or accusations. It is time for anger and accusations to end and thought provoking conversation to begin - then maybe we can change the world.



I am moving back to California this week. After many long decades on the road and a lifetime of roving I am going home. This will be my last post from Arizona and my last post until after the first of December. So, have a wonderful Thanksgiving and come on back the first week of December for all your retro pop culture fun!

Please enjoy my memories of a lifetime of moving on:


Families move a lot more now than when I was a kid. I know many people my age who were born, went to school, got married and raised their children in one city. I was not one of those people, I spent my life as a gypsy one way or the other, most often not by choice.

When I was a kid my family moved a lot. Not every year, but often enough to create some real challenges for a young girl trying have friends and be popular. This migratory trend seemed to set the pattern for most of my adult life.

My family moved several times before I was ten, though we stayed within the Kansas borders. When I was twelve my father got a new job across the country and my family, minus my then recently married sister, loaded up the truck and moved to our new home in California. Butthead and I sang "California, Here I Come" from Kansas to the California border. I think Mom and Dad's hair started to gray on that trip.

This move from Wichita,Kansas to Orange County,California was quite a change for a young kid. There I was, a little hick from Kansas just starting Junior HIgh with no friends and no knowledge of the pre-pubescent landscape. I had no idea what was considered "cool", what clothing was considered "hot" or what the regional slang was. What a way to start Junior High! I managed and adapted, after a few missteps and teenybopper gaffs, and I even made a few good friends, some of whom are still part of my life. I was happy enough and enjoyed most of the rest of junior high and the first two years of high school.

After my sophomore year my Father was transferred again, and we packed up our lives and headed to Ventura, California, this time minus Butthead, who was in college. This shift was not as far up the road geographically but a huge emotional distance away from all I had come to see as my life. My best friends, my neighborhood and my comfort zone were all 100 miles south of me and I was yet again wading through the halls of a new school filled with a sea of unfamiliar faces. Once more into the breach, I started the process of making friends, learning the territory and trying to carve a niche for myself in a world of tightly closed cliques and teenagers who "belonged".

After those two final years of high school I made my first move alone as I headed back to Orange County for college. From that point on I moved every few years or so, either to go to another school for another degree or to a new job. I ended up in Silicon Valley for the greater part of my career in advertising art, with only a short side trip to New York City and a very quick move back!

In the mid '80s I took myself further up the state of California when I decided I wanted to leave advertising and the traffic-jam packed Bay Area and live in the Wine Country. For nine years I did the art show circuit around the Northern California peninsula and worked in my home studio in Santa Rosa. This was the longest I had lived anywhere, though I did travel out of state often for shows, my motorhome and mini van packed to the gills with art. I had hoped the Sonoma County would be my home indefinitely, but fate had other things in mind and it used an economic crash to move me away again. This time to Arizona where the fine art shows were thriving.

It was at this point I figured I might as well give in to the gypsy lifestyle and embrace it as my own. I sold my home in Santa Rosa, California, moved into my RV and started what would be 13 years of constantly moving and changing my locales. Following the art show circuit, I would spend the winter in Arizona, the summers in either Colorado or New Mexico, and sometimes part of the winter in Florida! I literally picked up my house and moved it almost every weekend for years!

This last Spring I retired from doing art shows and found myself with the challenge of moving again. Because my new business is online my work can be done anywhere as long as I have high speed internet access. Though my family is gone now, I decided to go back to California because that's where my best friends still live and, frankly, you really can't beat the weather. Once again I started packing boxes, sifting through "keep/don't keep" piles, forwarding mail and preparing for moving day.

I think, maybe, my days of roaming might be coming to a close. This week I'm heading back home. Mom, Dad, grab some cloud up there and cover your ears because here comes that song again:

"California, Here I Come
Right back where I started from.
Where bowers of flowers
bloom in the spring.
Each morning at dawning
birdies sing at everything.
A sunkissed miss said, "Don't be late!"
that's why I can hardly wait
open up that Golden Gate!
California, Here I Come!!!!!"


THURSDAY THIRTEEN - 13 Good and Bad Things About Moving

I am moving at the end of this month so my thoughts are dominated with the trials and tribulations of the monumental task of picking up an entire life and transplanting it somewhere else! There is always an upside to most moves too, so indulge me a bit as I complain and jump for joy at the same time and post:


1. BAD - You have to pack boxes upon boxes of crap you've accumulated and now that you're packing it you're wondering why the hell you never threw away that stupid dancing monkey lamp that your Aunt Agnes willed you!

2. BAD & GOOD - You start to think about things like that stupid lamp and you have to make decisions about whether you want to waste time and money to take it with you or just donate it to some dumbass person who can really use a dancing monkey lamp.

3. BAD - You have to change your contact information on everything. This is when you find out just how many companies know everything about you, including what kind of thong you prefer.

4. GOOD - You can just cancel some of those accounts and never have to deal with those snippy customer service people again, maybe.

5. BAD - Moving is back breaking work. It's boring work. It's tedious, dull, life-sapping and just plain drudgery.

6. GOOD & BAD - You're so busy with all that drudgery that you don't have time to cook so you have an excuse to go get a sack full of greasy French fries and Jack In The Box tacos which will then end up giving you indigestion and migrating to your butt.

7. BAD - You're going to break something while packing. It's a physical law.

8. BAD - You have to say goodbye to a lot of people you like.

9. GOOD - You can tell a lot of people you don't like just how much you really don't like them! Go ahead, you're moving a whole state away - what are they gonna do, follow you and beat you with that dancing monkey lamp they just bought for a buck at the Goodwill?

10 - BAD - You have to unpack all that crap you just packed up, wash it again and put it away - again!

11 - GOOD - You're putting it away in a brand new, clean home!

12. BAD - You have to wait - yet again - for the cable guy, the internet guy, the phone guy and all those other guys who say they're going to be there between 9 am and 1 pm but don't show up until Thursday.

13. GOOD - You get a fresh start, in a new home, in a new place that's filled with possibilities!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. (leave your link in comments)
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Get my Retro Inspired Pop Culture Art on Cool Stuff like Cups, Tees, Cards, Aprons and more at the POP ART DIVA BOUTIQUE!



This is a commercial for the game Mystery Date, do you remember that game from the 60s? It was sort of a blind date game for teenyboppers. Is your date a dream or a dud - well, like all the blind dates that followed I usually opened the door to a dud!!! Give me Monopoly anyday!

The PopArtDiva Boutique Holiday Department
has great gifts, apparel and home decor for the holiday season.

A few simple clicks and your Christmas Presents are on their way!


Old School Fridays: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

Today is the birthday of MsMarvalus - the captain of this blog meme! She pointed out in her post that it is also the birthday of several other members of the meme, including Regina and I happen to know it was Malcolm's birthday yesterday because I did a live interview of him on my radio show Trippin' Down Memory Lane!

So, in honor of all your birthdays, here, singing the classic Happy Birthday song, is The Beatles!

This meme was developed by Marvalus View and Ms. Grapevine. If you want to join in on the fun, click here.
If you have any questions or something to say, please feel free to make a comment below. I always read and respond to all comments!

A few simple clicks and your Christmas Presents are on their way!
The PopArtDiva Boutique Holiday Department
has great gifts, apparel and home decor for the holiday season.



I will be interviewing Malcolm Bondon of Pop Culture Dish tomorrow on my show TRIPPIN' DOWN MEMORY LANE at BlogTalkRadio!

Malcolm is a pop culture guru - I will never play Trivial Pursuits with him unless he's on my team! I am constantly amazed at the information this man has in his head about retro and present day pop culture and you will enjoy hearing some "dish" on your favorite stars, movies, television shows and music from him! Malcolm is a serious trivia expert and he has also a great oldies music radio show where you can listen to the tunes of the 70s through the 90s.

We're going to be discussing everything pop culture and getting into the social aspects of the genres of music, television, movies and whatever else pops into our brains for two hours!

WHEN: Thursday, 4 PM (MST), 5 PM (Central) and 6 PM (Eastern)
WHERE: PopArtDiva's Retro Pop Culture Talk Show, Tripping Down Memory Lane
CALL IN NUMBER: (347) 326-9293

Listen Live Online - Call In to Listen or Participate - Listen to the archived show later!
Need Gift Ideas? Hate the Malls?
The PopArtDiva Boutique Holiday Department
has great retro inspired gifts, apparel and home decor for the holiday season.
A few simple clicks and your Christmas Presents are on their way!


THURSDAY THIRTEEN - My 13 Favorite Retro Toys from Childhood

With Christmas coming up all the toy store ads are being plastered all over the web and the boob tube. This got me to thinking about some of my favorite toys when I was a kid:

1. CRAYONS, PRANG WATERCOLORS! There was never a Christmas or a birthday that went by that I didn't get a new box of crayons or some form of art medium. I'm still like a kid in a candy store when I walk into an art supply store!

2. ETCH-A-SKETCH - This toy fascinated and frustrated me for hours on end. Until I got the hang of handling those knobs and coordinating them I was driven to tears. Once I had the rhythm going I could spend forever doodling magnetically.

3. ERECTOR SET - Though I never had an erector set of my own, my brother Butthead had one and I was often to be found playing with it when he wasn't around. Of course, I built abstract sculptures and not bridges so Butthead said I was a stupid girl.

4. SLINKY - When I was a kid this toy was metal and clanged when you dropped it down stairs. Nothing better to a kid than a toy that made noise!

5. JACK IN THE BOX - Yes, I had one and I kept it for years even after I was "too old" for it. Pop Goes The Weasel!

6. CHECKERS - Always a good game for rainy days. Our game got so old and used that we had lost many of the actual checkers and used bottle caps!

7. PICK UP STICKS - Only a kid can enjoy dumping a bunch of colored wood sticks all over the floor and picking them up. Do they even have these anymore?

8. TOY PIANO - I had a miniature toy grand piano. It was just an octave or two in keys and stood about 6 inches off the floor. I loved it and banged on it until one day my mother decided that piano lessons were in order. The full size piano was never as much fun.

9. SILLY PUTTY - I loved this flesh colored clay like substance. You could press it down on newspaper and the ink would imprint on the Silly Putty. I was endlessly fascinated with these reverse images for some reason.

10. PLAY DOH - This pasty, colored clay was great stuff for a kid to sculpt with. I made animals, dishes for my doll house and even jewelry for myself. The Play Doh ended up in the oddest places too - in the toilet bowl, smashed into the carpet, stuck under chairs and even stuck to Butthead's hair once! (Score one for me, teehee!)

11. MR POTATO HEAD - Frankly, I was more fascinated with doing weird things with the noses, ears, hats and attachments than actually creating a normal looking potato head. I think Picasso would have admired some of my creations that had one eye and both ears on the same side of the potato head. I also delighted in turning other foodstuffs into weird monsters. Normal I am not.

12. PAPER DOLLS - These are probably out of fashion but I loved paper dolls and could spend hours dressing these two dimensional models in the tabbed clothing. My favorite thing was to create my own clothes for the paper dolls. I would draw a new outfit, complete with tabs, color it in with my crayons and have mini fashion shows. I think this is why my Mom was convinced I would end up becoming a fashion designer. The only problem with that was, unlike Mama, I was absolutely no good as a seamstress and truly dislike sewing so paper dolls were as close as I ever got to a runway!

13. MY HOWDY DOODY MARIONETTE - My father, who worked for the Boy Scouts of America, got me a Howdy Doody Marionette in a BoyScout Uniform! I was not a natural born puppetier but that toy was a favorite of mine. In today's marketing obsessed world it would have been considered a highly prized special edition collectible - to me it was the fact that it was a gift from my Dad which made it special.
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments)
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

The PopArtDiva Boutique Holiday Department
has great retro inspired gifts, apparel and home decor for the holiday season.
A few simple clicks and your Christmas Presents are on their way!



In 1977 a song came on the radio which led to a whole new mindset and destination for all of us baby boomers who were enmeshed in the drudgery of life.

We poor ex-hippies had gone from Peace and Love, to Disco and then to "real life" in less than a decade. The term culture shock couldn't begin to cover it! No longer decked out in bell bottoms and platforms, we were encased in the suits of adulthood and, man, it was choking us! Then along came Jimmy Buffet and Margaritaville.

Jimmy, I think you saved the entire baby boom generation from total boredom and gave "Dead Heads" a new roadie dream! Cheeseburgers in Paradise and a cocktail in every hand! Fun Lives!

Stop by The Martini Diva for a special martini in honor of Jimmy Buffett and one of his biggest fans!

CHRISTMAS IS COMING! - Stop by the PopArtDiva Boutique Holiday Department for all your Holiday Shopping Needs.
A few simple clicks and your Christmas Presents are on their way!


OLD SCHOOL FRIDAYS - A Brand New Day and a Rock and Roll Goodbye

Today's Old School Friday Theme is A Brand New Day and relates to the election of our first African American President.

These are historic times, these are emotional times and as I watched the faces on the crowd as President Elect Barack Obama spoke after being told he would be the 44th President of our country I was very sharply reminded of another time in my life when a newly elected President brought that kind of hope and that kind of emotion to our nation, the election of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. For only the second time in my life as a voter I feel that kind of hope again.

Since my blog is a baby boomer's trip down memory lane, today I would like to post a link to a video of that other moment of great hope and faith in our country. John F. Kennedy Elected November 1960

I am also going to take this opportunity to post a video in honor of my late friend, Betty Turner, who left my life this week for her very own rock stage in the sky. Below is the 1976 version of Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac and the inimitable Stevie Nicks. Fleetwood Mac was Betty's favorite band and whenever I hear this song I think of her and our days of Fleetwood Mac concerts, trolling, and rocking out in the seventies. My Memorial to Betty is here, please read it and learn about a unique woman and a unique friendship of over 35 years. May You Rock On Forever Betty!

This meme was developed by Marvalus View and Ms. Grapevine. If you want to join in on the fun, click here.

Get my Retro Inspired Pop Culture Art on Cool Stuff like Cups, Tees, Cards, Aprons and more at the POP ART DIVA BOUTIQUE!


In Loving Memory of my friend, Betty Mae Turner

Yesterday I lost my friend of over 35 years, Betty Mae Turner. Betty, also known as T. J. Moscone from our days of shooting pool, was a wild and wonderful Aquarian with a quirky sense of humor and a view of life that only Betty could have.

I met Betty in 1972. True to the nature of our relationship, our meeting was somewhat unusual. I found one of the best friends of my life in the Yellow Pages! Yes, I was calling around for some information, found her ad, dialed the number and we ended up talking for an hour.

I found out she lived just a few miles down the road from me in Campbell. She was also taking classes at West Valley College and both of us were "older" students, having gone back to college after deciding to change the direction of our careers. Betty, already having studied art, was switching to psychology and art history, while I was doing just the opposite having decided that I wanted to be an artist and not a therapist! We formed an immediate and permanent bond.

As students of the "older persuasion" Betty and I became the dynamic duo of clubbing. We would go to school during the day then cruise the local hang-outs at night. We were young enough to go out on a weeknight, party and still make our classes the next morning. We made good use of that youth.

Betty and I were the Mutt and Jeff of the clubbing scene in the seventies in what would soon become Silicon Valley. Betty was tall, six foot in her bare feet, with a long, curly mane of strawberry blond hair. I was only five foot three with a shag cut of auburn hair. We couldn't have been more opposite in looks or taste in clothing. I was more classic and conservative, Betty was a vision of gypsies, tramps and thieves in her upscale hippie wardrobe.

I remember one night in particular, jump suits were popular and I had on a navy blue jump suit with a zipper down the front and the zipper had a large pull ring. Betty took one look at that and said, "Well, nothing like an outfit that zips off in two seconds!", and laughed. I took one look at her outfit, layers of lace, flowing skirts, a short vest and tangles of necklaces and said, "Betty Mae, a guy will take one look at that and figure it's too much work!" We cracked up and headed out to hunt.

I can't count the number of nights we would sit drinking coffee and listening to the famous bands that stopped in at the Bodega in Campbell. We saw Johnny Cash there, and Ricky Nelson and a score of other famous and infamous groups of the day. We even got to see her son's band play there - Matt gave Betty a proud and historic moment that night, one she talked about the rest of her life. She was also quite fond of remembering the time Matt's band played at the famous Whiskey-A-Go-Go.

We had a few run ins with bikers at the Bodega too - they loved that dank, grimy cellar of a nightclub as much as the college students and young professionals of the area. It was a fun eclectic mix and Betty and I reveled in the diversity. So many of my memories of her involve this night spot.

I remember one night Betty and I were there. We had just come in, grabbed our drinks and were roaming around when a fairly drunk guy wandered up to us and was desperately trying to hit on us. He was so blitzed we couldn't tell who he was zeroing in on! He was holding a bottle of beer in his hand and that hand had a watch on it. I don't know why but I got a little devil of "inspiration" and asked him what time it was. He looked at his watch - still holding that beer - only he was so looped he didn't see the bottle was tipped and the beer was flowing out onto the beat up wood floor. I thought Betty was going to pee her pants she was laughing so hard! Later she told me she darn near did and we cracked up all over again.

Another night we were celebrating my birthday. Before we headed over to the Bodega, Betty had me come over to her house. She had baked me a cake and this was not an ordinary cake! This cake was in the shape of a man's nether regions - bat and balls, if you get my drift - frosted entirely in pink and the candle was a "smokable substance" placed right at the tip of the "bat"! Only Betty could have come up with this, only my wild and crazy Aquarian friend.

I could go on with story after story of our adventures together. Life was never boring with Betty in it. She was intelligent, creative, funny, loving, quirky, silly, caring, my sister and my friend. Today as I watch the election results and see a new world where we have our first African American President elect, I am aware that an era has ended and a new one has begun for our country. For me today is the end of an era of a great friendship. I find myself wondering what Betty would have had to say about this historical event and I will never know, but I can guess. Betty would have loved this, and she would have found something totally irreverent and totally astute to say.

If I've discovered anything in nearly 58 years of life, I've discovered that the loss of a loved one does not end the world, though it feels like it should. Yes, my life will go on but it will go on with a huge hole in my heart.

Betty Mae, I will miss you for the rest of my life. You were my sister, my friend and I have loved you for all my adult life and will continue to love you forever.

Get my Retro Inspired Pop Culture Art on Cool Stuff like Cups, Tees, Cards, Aprons and more at the POP ART DIVA BOUTIQUE!



Okay, I know you've been secretly digging through your kids or grandkids Halloween candy the last couple of days and I'll bet you stole the cherry Tootsie Pop!

All the kids in the neighborhood said Tootsie Roll Pops are triple good. Triple Good! Remember that? Were you one of the kids who ended up biting into the Tootsie Roll to get to the chewy center quicker? Yup, me too.

Here's a little nostalgia to accompany you while you furtively enjoy that purloined sucker - this one's right out of my childhood - and remember, don't bite that sucker now or you might break your dentures:

Get my Retro Inspired Pop Culture Art on Cool Stuff like Cups, Tees, Cards, Aprons and more at the POP ART DIVA BOUTIQUE!